Monday, November 24, 2008

Moonshine on my shoulders makes me happy!

I'll start by explaining the title.   "Moonshine", aka Kirsten Jones came to Portland for a visit all the way from Charlotte, NC!  She has called me "Sunshine" for years and since one good turn deserves another, I needed to find a suitable moniker for her.  For those of you that know Kirsten, you understand that "Moonshine" fits the bill quite nicely.  While you are catching up on our visit, I have included the John Denver song that I often get serenaded with when I am blessed with a phone call from Mrs. Jones.  Welcome to our world.
She arrived on a rainy Thursday afternoon.  We brought her home, fed her some soup, introduced her to the neighbors (whose children she adores!), and put her down for a nap.  We later went to dinner at Baja Fresh, while the kids were in Awana.  Friday morning was leisurely and after some breakfast and Chai tea, we headed downtown via bus to meet Greg.  We spent the rest of the afternoon trudging up and down NW 23rd Ave, which is packed with cool, trendy stores and restaurants and interesting Portlanders.  We ate a good lunch at Rose's and later enjoyed gelatos and lattes while we slipped out of one store into another.  Kirsten and Sarah Grace got hand massages at some funky soap store.  The smell of the store was so strong Samuel couldn't stand it, but SG was right in her element!
Dark had fallen just after 5:00pm., so we caught our bus back home to Lake Oswego.  We picked up movies and had soup and sandwiches for dinner.  
Saturday we got an earlier start and headed for Multnomah Falls.  Kirsten, Greg and the kids went on the hike up to the top, while I stayed down in the restaurant and did some reading and knitting (I am recovering from some running injuries).  The day started out rainy (as you can tell by the pic), but the sun poked out a bit later when we were headed for Mt. Hood.  Kirsten enjoyed the hike, but in true Moonshine fashion, she got naughty and climbed over the fence onto a cliff at the top of the falls.  Greg got a picture of this as Samuel was making his way over the fence to join Kirsten on the cliff.  I can always count on her to set a good example.  sigh.  
I'm glad there wasn't a park ranger around.
Fortunately, the sun came out and it was around 40 degrees going up Mt. Hood to the Timberline Lodge.  If it had been much colder, I think we would have had trouble getting up even that far, as we did not have chains on the tires.  When we got to the lodge we looked around a bit and let the kids play for a few minutes in the snow.  We couldn't stay long, because we didn't have the proper gear and it was quite a bit colder once we got to the lodge.   Dinner was had at a Gustav's restaurant, back in Portland, that serves mostly German fare.  
Sunday morning we went to church and showed off our Southern friend.  Northwesterners are fascinated with Southerners.  It's kind of cute.  After church we lunched at Players and watched some football while the kids played.  The girls climbed into their beds for naps back at home, while the boys watched TV and played on the computer.  After a walk to the park with Sadie (our neighbor's lab), we went to dinner at the Corbett Fish House in Portland.  They have won various awards for their fish and chips and.....they are gluten free!  They use rice flour, so I can have almost everything on the menu!  It is a very fun, relaxed place with fishing stuff all over the walls and maps and whatnot.  The food is awesome too.  We can't wait to take Kayla and Jason (you guys will LOVE it!).  Anyway, it has been years since I have had fish n' chips and clam chowder soup.  It was a treat!
We hurried home to get the kids into bed and watch "24".  After that, Moonshine still wanted to par-tay, so we went out and got that Untraceable movie that I swore I would never see (I don't like torture scenes).  It actually was pretty cool, because it was filmed in Portland and a whole lot of what you see in the movie, we had just shown Kirsten. 
All in all we had a great time.  Our days were packed with non-stop excursions, but we relaxed at night and enjoyed each other's company as we read to the kids,  chatted and made fun of stuff on TV, movies, etc.  
This morning we bid her farewell at the airport.  We love you and we will miss you Moonshine.  Thank you for coming all the way out here and being our very first guest!  

Who's next?


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes we can.

The election is over and as much planning as I put into these blog entries (not a lot), I think I can safely say this will be my last political entry.  Since I opened my big mouth last week, it somehow feels irresponsible not to follow up with this entry.  
In short, I am neither surprised or fearful about Barack Obama winning the presidency.  

"Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God."  Romans 13:1

There you have it.  God voted for Barack Obama.  
So is it the Judgment of God, or is it that some of us were wrong about what the best thing for this country is?  Personally, I feel safer leaning towards the "I was wrong" possibility.  That's because I don't like to play God and from everything I read in the Bible....judgement belongs to Him.  I'm just not going there.  I don't think God's judgement can be mistaken for anything other than what it is, so if that's what is coming we will all know.   So let's leave the judging to Him and get on with what our response to this country's problems should be.  

The other day my friend, Paul Smith, sent out an email about what a Christian's response to the election should be starting on Nov. 5th.   The following ideas come from Mark Earley, the president of Prison Fellowship Ministries:

1.  Get involved in the political may even consider for running for office yourself!
2.  Work at a pregnancy care young women in crisis pregnancies.
3.  Volunteer in prison, bring the hope of the gospel to those there that need it and help them to transition to life on the 'outside'.
4.  Speak to lawmakers about bringing Biblical principles into the prison system.
5.  Have a monthy fund-raising party and give the money to charities that are working to heal our culture.
6.  Support attorneys that are working to protect the rights of Christians.
7.  Encourage teenagers into leadership positions such as leading Bible study or running for student council,  or mentoring young children.
8.  Donate your time and money.  The example he gave was supporting school choice by holding a pizza party where the proceeds to to a scholarship fund for poor children....even if just one child is helped out of a failing's worth it!

Mark Earley ends with this:  "Besides being fun and worthwhile, these kinds of activities will help you light a candle instead of being tempted just to curse the darkness."

To this I will add that it is our civic duty to support our president.  It is our spiritual duty to pray for him.  I will be praying for Barack Obama to know the leading and guidance of God.  I am going to be praying for his safety and the safety of his family.  I am going to pray that he and his family will get into a good church and be nourished by the truth of God's word.  I will pray that he will be surrounded by good advisors with sound minds and level-headed thinking.  I will pray that he will grow in favor with both God and men.  Israel had leaders for whom these things were true , and so this is how I will pray for our president-elect.

And finally, these words from Jesus,

"You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.  
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 5: 14-16

Yes we can!